Your power is precious and specific, and yet you probably give a good deal of it away unbidden. Most everyone does, with or without realizing that it’s a decision.
It’s so tempting – and frighteningly easy – to slip into victim mode. Again, you may not know you’re doing this, or think of yourself as behaving passively. I didn’t. I see myself as sharp, honest and decisive. When I began to realize during therapy sessions how I give away my power to others in a myriad of ways, it honestly blew my mind.
Then the inevitable panic set in. If I am blind to this now obvious reality, where else is my perspective entirely skewed? Do I know myself at all? Can I trust anything that I think? Of course, that’s swinging too far the other way. Balance is key to finding a middle ground between my reality and the reality of others.
There really is no such thing as reality as we view it. Every being has their own version of reality and every version is different. I’d read about this concept a while back in Buddhist literature but it makes far more sense to me in a personal context. So then, how do we accept this idea without totally losing our minds?
We have to let go of the desperate desire to control our version of reality as well as the version held by others. There’s no way to manage this to our liking, and we will literally drive ourselves crazy trying. I can attest to this! I try to control everything, a holdover from feeling so powerless in my surroundings growing up. Only recently have I realized the extent of my attempts to manipulate every situation and outcome in my life by changing the way I present myself to get what I want from someone.
I don’t do this maliciously – it’s a survival mechanism. I never learned that I can exist in this world simply as myself and be accepted, even loved, for me. Even now, I continue to create situations that have an outcome that I’m comfortable with, however painful it feels when I repeat it. I learned that no matter how much I adjusted and adapted to the needs of the chaotic people in my life, they left me anyway. I definitely wasn’t allowed to be myself, but even if I exhausted myself trying to please, that was never good enough either. I could never do it “right”.
And now, I still try to conform to the needs of the people I love, only to feel dissatisfied and resentful because they don’t see me for me. How can they? I never give them the chance. And they, too, eventually leave me, for our connection is not based in truth, reality, and vulnerability. I refuse to leave first, even when I should. I never learned to establish boundaries in my relationships.
What an incredible amount of power to give away to others. I let them control my choices, my happiness, my feelings of self-worth, my very life. They didn’t ask for any of it. I’ve made these decisions and continued to make them because I was doing the best I could with all I’d ever known.
Do you find yourself giving away your own power as well? Maybe your story is similar to mine, maybe entirely different. There are so many ways to lose yourself in this world. Perhaps, like me, you are secretly terrified of your power, because you never learned how to keep it for yourself and harness it to work for you instead of against you. Somewhere deep down inside you know the magic that you are, but you don’t understand it, you don’t trust it, or you’ve so often been mistreated that you can’t believe it’s real.
Because you don’t trust your own magic, you look to others for validation – again giving your power away. You may believe that you need the approval of others to feel good, but you do not. You have all the love and approval that you need inside yourself. Is it easier to say that than to feel it? Absolutely, especially after years of trauma and learned survival tactics. External validation feels nice, but internal validation is essential to you finding peace, joy, and self-worth.
It won’t feel comfortable at first. It’s not your automatic response. You will have to put in the effort to make a shift, but once you begin taking back your power and notice what that does for your heart, soul, and spirit, as well as the positive changes you see in your life … you’ll be so glad you took a chance on yourself for once.
You got this. Don’t be afraid. I love you, I believe in you, and I’ve got your back. You are so powerful. You are magic. Embrace it. You deserve to give yourself the world.
Beautiful post! Such truth! I used to give away my power all the time when I was a teen and in my twenties, and let me tell ya! It made me a target of relentless bullying. It was also exhausting and only eroded my confidence and self-esteem. Since I’ve taken it back, I’m much happier and so much more fulfilled! Thank you for posting.